Farm mechanisation is unaffordable and scarce for many rural smallholder farmers in East Africa. As a result, labour intensive activities like ploughing, threshing and milling are still largely done by hand.
BODAWERK aims to address this development challenge by establishing the AgrE-Hub: a contract mechanisation services provider powered entirely by renewable energy solutions tailored specifically for the farm power needs of rural East Africa smallholders.
The AgrE-hub will include:
- A small fleet of E-traks; a low-cost, multi-purpose electric two-wheel tractor capable of providing ploughing, milling, threshing, water-pumping, grain-transportation, seed-drilling and more.
- Swappable Smart Batteries; Li-ion battery packs that charge through the mini grid and power the E-traks along with AgrE-hub infrastructure and stationary equipment. These batteries are also equipped with PAYG functionality.
- A range of scale-appropriate implements like plows, threshers, mills, pumps, trailers, dryers and more.
- A modular DC solar mini-grid that provides electricity at a fraction of the cost of AC mini-grids.
The project incorporates all of these technologies under one roof into a scalable services-based business model. This approach charts a path to greater productive use of energy overcoming challenges that currently prevent traditional mini-grids from achieving wider scale adoption in the region. With the capacity to store energy economically and transport it flexibly over large distances and rough terrain, AgrE-hub enables clean energy to become the fuel source of choice for powering rural smallholder livelihoods.